The environmentalist group Sierra Club has scrapped scheduled trips to Israel under pressure from left-wing anti-Israel organizations.
In an email distributed by the group and obtained by the Jewish News of Northern California, the Sierra Club announced that it was canceling the trips after facing accusations from activists that it was "greenwashing the conflict" and "providing legitimacy to the Israeli state, which is engaged in apartheid against the Palestinian people."
A "Jewish-American activist" reached out to the Sierra Club to pressure it to cancel trips to Israel, the group said. After the Sierra Club rebuffed the demands, the activist enlisted a host of left-wing and anti-Israel groups, including Jewish Voice for Peace, the Sunrise Movement, and the Movement for Black Lives, in a pressure campaign against the environmentalist group.
Sierra Club officials met with members of the anti-Israel coalition, "who insisted that there was no room for compromise" and threatened to "go public that the organization was violating the organizational values it recently rolled out" if it did not promptly cancel the Israel trips.
Sierra Club acting executive director Dan Chu agreed to scrap the trips on the recommendation of two members of a group he appointed to address the demands.
The organization no longer lists its Israel trips on its website's list of upcoming trips, according to the Jewish News of Northern California.
A Jewish member of the Sierra Club, David Neumann, told the Jewish News of Northern California that he's disappointed by the organization's embrace of progressive politics and radical views.
"Obviously, people who care about the environment aren't necessarily progressives," Neumann said. "You can care about the environment and have different political views. We have Republicans among us. ... These groups that call Israel an apartheid state—that's so far out there. That's so not mainstream. That's crazy."